Author Topic: Maps & Regions in MCO - idea  (Read 2547 times)

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Marco2001

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Maps & Regions in MCO - idea
« on: August 06, 2010, 12:50:36 PM »
Maps & Regions in MCO


This is how now looks a typical map in Mars Colony:



As big as it is it's still limited and a player who travels far in search for resources will face an invisible wall.
I propose a little change.
Mainly - when you reach the map outer limits you load another map.
It's so simple yet it gives the player a feel of open world.
This is how it looks for instance in Sim City 4:



There are several map sizes from tiny to GIGANTIC.
All together they form a REGION.
Player could pick the region first and then determine on which map he wishes to place his base and start playing.
How many maps would be needed? Many to say the least. It could then look like something like this:


(thats also from Sim City 4: Mars Mode)

Players would then be given the oppurtunity to go inside the preasurized rover and travel far.
That type of exploration could even last for hours (days!) in real-time. NASA says that they want at least 1 mission to nearby crater that would take about 2 weeks long.
Of course the explorers wouldn't just sit inside the preasurized Rover and switch seats from time to time - the main couse of this trip is to explore everything you can along the way.

The regions that would be aviable to play can be the real one's....like Valles Marineris

http://www.destination-orbite.net/planetologie/images/valles_marineris.jpg

Noctis Labyrinthus

http://naliyat23.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/noctis_labyrinthus_02_color.jpg

or Iani Chaos

http://esamultimedia.esa.int/images/marsexpress/just_for_thumbnails_and_previews_M_50k_02S_343E_H.jpg

and many many more.

There are many games who uses that binded map systems.
For instance: Star Trek Online.





---> http://faqsmedia.ign.com/faqs/image/article/106/1069744/suricata_stostarchart3_2010feb16.jpg

There is also one good feature that this enables.
When two players decide they want to play they start a server.
They both decidethe locations of they'r base in the region and invite friends to they'r base.
They can compete with one-another of aid themselves.
As one player uses preasurized rover to leave his own map he can go to visit the other base.



Poland here. My time: GMT + 1h
Writing a book about Mars. Any ideas? Type to me.
I'am an Astrobiology/Biology student.

thedubman

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Re: Maps & Regions in MCO - idea
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2010, 01:44:33 PM »
Again, great ideas are flowing-Are you sure you guys are not games developers or NASA scientists on the quiet??

Hyper

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Re: Maps & Regions in MCO - idea
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2010, 05:38:23 PM »
Great idea but can't be done unless we have multiple servers running. Thats how it's done in games like WOW and Everquest.

Marco2001

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Re: Maps & Regions in MCO - idea
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2010, 11:34:38 AM »
I was thinking about it and I think I found a solution.
When a player (server host) nears the end of the map, a dialog window appears and says:
"You are leaving this sector map. If you leave, you will appear in sector XXX. The time for this sector will be frozen until someone cames back. Do you wish to proceed?".

By this methode the host changes the hosted map sector, and all players come with him (for a Expedition maybe).

Example.
Player list:
Marco (Host)
thedubman
Mecanico

We started at Hyperia sector map. We did some chores at the base, and after time we decided to explore the nearby Vales Marineris map sector. We packed as much oxygen, fuel, food and water to the Long Range Preasurized Rover (LRPR) as we can. We also brought some equipement. We didn't have enough space to pack everything we would want so we debated, what should we take. We decided that we should not take the portable LIBS, and take Sample Container instead esgo...
We all went inside the rover, preasurized it inside. Take off the EVA, and thedubman seated himself as the first pilot. Mecanico seated himself as the 2nd pilot. We decided to take schifts every 30 real minutes. We drive to the edges of Hyperia - a popup window noticed us that we are leaving the base, and that ther's noone left to host this sector map, so it will be frozen until someone comes back and hosts it. We clicked "proceed" and our rover after 10 sec. of loading appeared on the edge of the Vales Marinerris Map Sector. After 3 Sols we reached the edge of the canion. We took about 50 core samples, and headed back. When we reached the Hyperia, all actions were reasumed again (and Vales Marineris had paused).

The next day 2 more peeple joined our base in hyperia. The three of us wanted to go on another trip, while those two wanted to explore tha base. I opened the game menu, and selected one of them and clicked "Make host". The map instantly started reloading. After 10 sec. I no longer was the host of Hyperia sector map. We ware free to move to the edges of the map and travel to Vales Marineris map sector again. The popup dialog box asqeued, which one of us will be the host for this next map sector. I picked to be the host again, and we once again loaded at this map sector. After an hour of gameplay, we went to TS and asqued those two ppl left in Hyperia "How's it goying?". They say "Great! When you come back we should have some potatos for lunch :-)".

And thats basically it.
Every map sector requires that someone host it.

Poland here. My time: GMT + 1h
Writing a book about Mars. Any ideas? Type to me.
I'am an Astrobiology/Biology student.

Hyper

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Re: Maps & Regions in MCO - idea
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2010, 07:52:54 PM »
I can swap zones easy enough but as you say all have to go, The server player can force a zone switch. For MCO however that would require a server switch not just the zone. If others logged in they too would be in the new zone. I might be able to pull it off but I have been working the mechanics of actual game play and havent had time to look at it. Basicly I can create multiple game servers on one machine and move you around. I'll look into it. The other option I might be able to pull off is make the zone much larger but it takes a huge memory to store it all. Right now the zone is 4096 square which is 134 meg to make it 8192 is 536 meg so you can see the issue. After I get this next version running i'll look at it.

Marco2001

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Re: Maps & Regions in MCO - idea
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2010, 09:29:28 PM »
Out of curiosity. How does RPG games like Gothic make such immense maps without a Loading screen? You just keep on goying and goying and goying...and you only need to load when you enter specific locations like a Mine.

Poland here. My time: GMT + 1h
Writing a book about Mars. Any ideas? Type to me.
I'am an Astrobiology/Biology student.

profit004

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Re: Maps & Regions in MCO - idea
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2010, 10:21:42 PM »
Staged level loading mechanisms allow this to be possible.

 It is achievable with reduced poly count scenes and a staged loading mechanism with predictive buffer and a decent computer.

If you own oblivion you can see the small 64 by 64 foot cells the world is broken up into in the editor.  The game loads these in the background as you walk in a certain direction.

profit004

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Re: Maps & Regions in MCO - idea
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2010, 10:30:10 PM »
These techniques get downright ugly in a multiplayer game.... However they are still possible to use.  Just make sure you have a lot of programmers to help write it.   

Really good programmers...  Ones who understand how to write parallel code.... It does not have near the number of locks as path finding an the like, but it still gets messy and needs a good thread synchronization engine and a lot of availability checks to be done in the program.

I am fairly certain hyper already has decided to give this method a pass due to the exponentially harder debugging process.

Hyper

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Re: Maps & Regions in MCO - idea
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2010, 08:51:50 AM »
True, the magic zone cache is the key to swaps but belive me there is a zone swap. Trick is to make it as subtle as you can so the user doesnt notice.
The other trick is to take the user position in the world and build the zone on the fly out to the far clip plane so the user can't see the destroy behind, create in front happening.